Welcome to the final chapter and lesson of my life to date. I wrote this book for four reasons. Firstly, God commanded me to share his teachings from east to west and from north to south.
Secondly, I wanted my precious son and descendants to have the story of my life, or at least the first five decades of it. Little is written about those family members who came before me, which is a calamity in my opinion. At least future generations can read my book and know the wonderful story of one of his or her relatives’ walk with God. My son, Geoff, has undoubtedly paid the biggest price for his mother’s obedience to God in fulfilling her responsibilities on earth. I could not be prouder of him and I could not love anybody on earth more than I do Geoff. May God protect and guide him and our descendants with his favor, grace and continued blessings.
Thirdly, I wanted to inspire others to lead happier and more fulfilled lives. As I walk forwards, my intention (if it is his will) is to expand upon the lessons contained within this autobiography and use them as a platform to help you live your lives more profoundly than you ever dared, hoped or dreamed was possible.
Fourthly, I wanted to verbalize and share with those people who have played an important role in my life, that I am a stronger and happier person for all they taught me along the road called, “Life.” A few of those fellow human beings brought plates with dishes containing tough lessons for my consumption. They were difficult to swallow and harder to digest especially when the, “It is better to have loved and lost, than not to have loved at all,” meant more often than not accepting the role of the perceived loser.
I am grateful to the many men and women who have helped me to understand the process of professional prowess, achievement and relationship building. They taught me to never give up or make excuses for failure, but rather to set realistic strategic goals, which would stretch me beyond the limits of leadership responsibility. I am grateful to the many people who have shown me love, kindness, respect, tenderness and compassion, not least withstanding permitting me to offer these same traits in return. To each person that has crossed my path; I would like to say sincerely that I am grateful for their precious time, friendship and kindness. I was never an easy person to live with (my life is unconventional, faith based and service with love to others driven) and I realize that I made some mistakes, which unfortunately I cannot retract. I ask forgiveness for any wrongdoings against anybody, and I pray that God blesses them in ways I cannot imagine.
We have covered some very diverse topics in this book including adoption, miscarriage, divorce, disease, death, spirituality, violence, politics, ministry, mentoring, business strategy, film and photography. I trust that you have found inspiration within some of these lessons and that you have gained some knowledge and great tips to implement within your own lives.
I am going to end this book on an upbeat note and look forward to sharing many other wonderful lessons in the future. I do hope that we meet; perhaps at a book signing or an inspirational keynote speech event.
My grandmother taught me a little song by Susan B. Warner written in 1868 that I have carried with me over the last five decades. “Jesus bids us shine,” has always inspired me to shine like a huge lighthouse beacon. This light does not shine to warn you of danger; but rather to lovingly reflect the message of, “If you need a soft place to rest your weary bones, come here. This house (my being) is where Christ resides and love is the watchword and comforting blanket that is ready to envelop you with love and unconditional compassion!”
“Jesus bids us shine, with a pure clear light.
Like a little candle burning in the night.
In this world of darkness, we must surely shine.
You in your small corner and I in mine.”
In the Matthew’s Gospel, we are told, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your father who is in heaven.”
Life is not a solo performance. One can live peacefully as a hermit for part of it, but even the recluse becomes forlorn if he does not interact with fellow human beings from time to time. We are social creatures by nature. Together we produce an elaborate tapestry called, “Creation.”
If I may humbly give you advice, it would be to respect and love others with every fiber of your being. Be generous with it and envelop others with a feeling of sincere warmth and kindness. May there never be a single creature or human being that meets you, sees you, or hears about you that leave without knowing that there is at least one person on this planet who genuinely cares about them, and who is interested to know what they can do to help you in the name of our heavenly Father.
I would also like to encourage you to take courage and not run from discomfort or to settle for superficial relationships. Learning how to love others deeply requires you to place yourself in situations that are troublesome at times. Never permit yourself to squash anger at injustice, exploitation and oppression. Rather, you should fight for justice, equality and peace. I pray that God blesses you with tears to shed for all those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war. I pray that instead of turning away, you will turn towards and offer your hand to comfort them and change their pain into joy.
Finally, I pray God blesses you with the exact same thing he has given to me – foolishness to think that you can make a difference in the world; so that you will do the things that, others tell you are impossible.